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Full text of "Verdict On India"

LOOSE ENDS

vrurried or stared. Sometimes when it was late, and the pilgrims
aad departed, I used to crawl into the cave and sit with him alone,
hunched up under the low, incense-stained roof* He was one of
the most beautiful old men I have ever seen, attenuated and
elongated like an El Greco, and we had long conversations iix a
r.iixture of languages and signs. It must be granted that he never
said anything of particular interest, his remarks being largely
confined to statements of facts with which one was already
acquainted, such as 'War is terrible* and 'Man is wicked." How-
ever, it really did not matter what he said, he was so exquisite to
look at, and I only wish that he had been in a museum, in a glass
case, properly lit, so that one could ha^e enjoyed him from every
angle.

in
As a whole, Congress is *antF the States ;* it asserts that they
nre 'bulwarks of British rule,9 and it has managed to spread the
impression that they are actually British inventions* They are,
of course, nothing of the sort, and any man who makes such an
assertion is only exposing his ignorance of the rudimentary facts
of history.
'When, after the decay of Mogul power in the middle of the
eighteenth century, the East India Company began to intervene
in the political affairs of India, they had to solicit the favour of
Indian rulers, like the Xizam and the Marathas, to seek their
alliance in order to keep the French power in check. The Com-
pany was not at that time a political power, and the same circum-
stances which favoured the growth of its power also operated to
strengthen and establish on an independent footing the rule of
the local chieftains who owed nominal allegiance to the Mogul
Emperor at Delhi. Thus, though the majority of the bigger Indian
States are not survivals of old Indian monarchies, they are not
the creations of British policy.'2
*, * In Chap, n, however, we saw that Gandhi is ont of step with Congress on this
matter, though he has expressed so many conflicting opinions that it is impossible
to decide what he really thinks.
3 Indian States, by K. M. Panikkar (Oxford University Press)!